The jumping spiders comprise the largest family of spiders
with about 4000 species having been described. The behaviour of all
of them is strongly influenced by their acute vision. Their curiosity
is almost greater than their fear. With their eight eyes they are able
to focus on anything around them, including to the rear, and have the
greatest acuity of any arthropod especially where the anterior median
eyes are concerned. This type of spider stalk their prey by creeping
ever closer until they are a few centimeters away, then they jump, grabbing
their prey with their fore-legs. This type of spider can jump from a
standing start, unlike most others which need a run, and they can also
jump backwards and sideways with equal dexterity to avoid capture.
There are four species which live in Britain, two of
which are rare, the most common of which is pictured above.
I am not going to describe the obvious...just look at
the picture....This spider is found mainly in houses and gardens, but
also on rocks and stones and occasionally on trees. It is mainly active
in early to late summer and is abundant in the Northern Hemisphere.
The male is similar to the female but with enlarged chelicerae.
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